November 2018
In This Issue


We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide you with this valuable information via our monthly e-newsletter and our unparalleled forensic accounting and fraud investigative services.

The goal of this e-newsletter is to provide you critical, inside information that will help you "follow the money" in business disputes, divorce cases, fraud cases, estate matters, corporate embezzlement and to prevail when defending an IRS criminal case. We will do this by sharing the knowledge we have from our 25+ years of experience as an IRS Special Agent and 16 years as a private investigator / forensic accountant.

We take special care to ensure the information we provide you in "The Beacon" is the latest and most current information available.  In this edition, we talk about the contested will.

We want to write about topics that will assist you in prevailing with fraud, divorce, estate and probate, and IRS criminal cases. Please e-mail us your topics of interest to
We encourage you to share our e-newsletter with others in your sphere of influence.  

We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!
Edmond J. Martin
Principal, Chief Investigator
Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
Texas Certified Investigator (TCI)
The Contested Will

A "will" is generally defined as an instrument by which a person makes a disposition of his/her property, to take effect after his or her death, and which by its own nature is ambulatory and revocable during his or her lifetime as defined in "Black's Law Dictionary 5th Edition." To "contest" a will is a proceeding sui generis (its own kind or class, peculiar), a suit in rem (a technical term used to designate proceedings or actions instituted against the thing, in contradiction to person actions), having for its purpose the determination of questions of construction of the will or whether there is or is not a will.

Estoppel (a party is prevented by his own acts) may apply in a "contested will" because of the acceptance of a distribution from the estate and whether the Contestant is estopped from offering a second will for probate because of the acceptance of a distribution from the estate, "Black's Law Dictionary 5th Edition."


A male and female child were adopted by two parents 40 years earlier, and during that period the father died, and the mother passed, 15 years later and left a will. During the mother's last ten years she was of poor health from dementia and Alzheimer's, and the son took care of her and saw to her personal and business affairs. As a result of personal conflicts, the son stopped being involved with the mother and his sister took over caring for her mother and the sister allowed the business affairs to run themselves. When the mother died, the sister presented a new will for probate. The will left the son a small cash inheritance and the sister received the remainder. The son retained a copy of a will signed by his mother and witnessed during her healthy years and without undue influence from his sister. The attorneys for the sister filed the last will in probate court disinheriting the son. The son hired a lawyer and a private investigator to investigate and contest the will. After a couple of months of gathering evidence and testimony, a lawsuit was prepared and filed in probate court contesting the will. The attorneys for the sister contacted the son's lawyer and initially resisted stating that the son was estopped from challenging the will because he accepted a distribution from the estate and he was estopped from offering the second will for probate because of the acceptance of the distribution. After the lawyers for the son briefed the case, it was determined that there were ... Read More  
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At Sage Investigations we are dedicated to serving our clients nationally, to help them navigate the difficulties of dealing with fraud, divorce, estate and probate, the IRS Criminal Investigation, and other complex (forensic) financial fraud investigations. By narrowing our focus to our primary strength of following the money, we steer our knowledge, efforts, and experience to financial issues. We help our clients propel their cases forward by assisting in the review, acquisition, and organization of financial records, evaluating the elements of their cases, and helping create winning strategies. Through the use of our proprietary advanced financial investigative technology we trace and analyze complex financial data quickly, easily and efficiently, saving our client's time and money.
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